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Sunday Salon: Getting to Know You

The Sunday Salon.comWhew, what a Book Blogger Appreciation Week that was! I learned a ton, met some great new bloggers, and stuffed my Google Reader to the gills. Now I’m going to do my best to keep that feeling of enthusiasm going.

Since (I’m hoping) there may be some new people stopping by after the fun of BBAW, I thought I’d make today something of a “getting to know you” day. I’ll introduce myself, and anyone willing is invited to do the same, whether you’re a new follower or you’ve been reading Erin Reads for a while. (Amanda did this last year on her old blog after BBAW, and I loved the idea. Thanks for the inspiration, Amanda!)

A Bit About Me

ErinAs my blog name may have already hinted, I’m Erin. I’m a 20-something (soon to be 30-something) living in western Pennsylvania with my husband. I’ve been blogging seriously since last year’s BBAW first exposed me to the vast and wonderful book blogging community. I stumbled upon the event at the perfect time, having just left my indie bookseller job to move to a new city and needing a new bookish outlet.

Obviously, I like to read. I tend toward fiction of all stripes: literary, contemporary, historical, young adult, and — more and more — the so-called classics. I’ll pick up a memoir or some nonfiction here and there. I also LOVE audiobooks, which have nearly doubled the number of books I can read and made tasks like cleaning and doing laundry into activities I don’t mind doing. Some of my favorite books of the past year have included The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (audiobook), Something Missing by Matthew Dicks, Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden (audiobook), The Bee Loud Glade by Steve Himmer, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (audiobook), When She Woke by Hillary Jordan, and His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik (audiobook).

I also knit, weather permitting (i.e. when it’s not too hot), and can be found on Ravelry. If you’re there too, come say hi! I love to cook and bake, though some odd food sensitivities have forced me to get creative in the past couple of years. I’ve been in IRL book group for the past year, which is the first time I’ve done anything of the sort, and I love it!

A Bit about Erin Reads

Most of what I post here is book-related. I’m not good at being too personal in my posts, though as you can see from today, sometimes I make an exception. I’m not big on memes, either, though I do enjoy participating in the Sunday Salon (again…as evidenced by this post). I try to post 2-4 times per week. I really don’t like to double post and will usually tweak my schedule to avoid it. I’m very sensitive to spoilers and sometimes don’t even read book jackets for fear they’ll ruin a book for me!

Reading Buddies ButtonI have a few projects going on Erin Reads. First is Reading Buddies, which is a very informal set of readalongs. There’s a poll in my sidebar offering three choices from my TBR list that I’d like to read with other people. Throughout the month, readers can vote for their preference, which we’ll then read together in a very informal way. No required posts, no preset schedule, no commitments for participants. I post twice a month for discussion, and we go from there. Anyone is welcome to join at any time; check out the project page for details!

The Classics Reclamation Project Button

I’m also working on a personal classics project, which I’ve called the Classics Reclamation Project. After years of avoiding classic literature, which I assumed was hard, boring, scary, etc. (thank you, high school), I was inspired — largely by other bloggers’ positive experiences with such books — to try again. I’ve been consciously incorporating classics into my reading now for almost a year and have enjoyed the majority of them, which is exciting to me!

I know many bloggers adore challenges. Well…not me. I signed up for one challenge last year, and it stressed me out so much that I finally quit midway through! Instead, I set up personal reading goals, which I’ve been trying to work toward throughout the year. This approach has worked much better for me, though I still love to see what challenges others join and what books they read for them.

You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Tumblr. I love to talk about books and especially read books with others, so please feel free to say hello!

A Bit About…You!

Please introduce yourself! Tell me something I might not already know, or let me know about your current favorite book. Link to your review, if you want! That goes for old followers and new. If you’re lurking and haven’t yet said hi, I urge you to make today the day you speak up so we can properly meet. Let’s get to know one another a little better!

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  • http://lostinagoodstory.blogspot.com Joanna

    HI Erin! It’s so nice to read a bit about you! :-) I’ve tried knitting a few times, but don’t have the patience for it. I’ve also tried crochet, which I liked a lot better but didn’t manage to stick to anyway. Ah well!

    • Erin

      Yeah, I’ve had that problem with a couple of other crafty things! My grandmother taught me when I was little, so it wasn’t too hard for me to pick it back up. I like it for driving, watching TV, etc. My other grandmother crochets and tried to teach me…but the knitting grandma had gotten to me first, and I’ve been a knitter since!

  • http://perduedansleslivres.blogspot.com virginie

    Hi Erin! I’ve been following you on your blog for about a year now (maybe more, I can’t remember!). I enjoy reading American and Japanese fiction. As you know, I do appreciate your “Reading Buddies” and try to join in as much as I can, even though I sometimes have hard times (when reading Sea of poppies for instance :)). Your classic reclamation project is a great inspiration to me. The last book I bought (yesterday) is Kate Chopin’s The Awakening which I’ll hopefully be reading very soon!
    I am an occasional knitter and am now registered on Ravelry, but still have to update my profile (I’ll let you know!). And I love to cook too, and love to use my travel experiencesto try new recipes. My family and I were in Martha’s Vineyard this summer and tasted the most delicious macaroni and cheese and lobster we’ve ever had! Not to mention the exquisite Murdick’s fudge! I try to revive our souvenirs in our french kitchen! (I’d be delighted if you or one of your readers would provide me the recipe :))!
    Have a nice Sunday!

    • Erin

      Yes, you’ve pretty much been with me since the beginning (or, at least, when I started blogging seriously)! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you through reading over the past year. I enjoyed The Awakening and hope you like it, too.

      When you get Ravelry set up, definitely let me know! I like seeing what other people are knitting on there, and it’s one more point of connection with other bloggers if they’re on there. Macaroni and cheese and lobster sounds mouth-watering — yum! I wish I had that recipe, but I’m sorry to say I don’t! Cooking recipes from places you’ve been is a great way to relive great vacations, though, and I hope you find a good version.

      Hope you had a great Sunday, too :-)

  • http://www.sillylittlemischief.blogspot.com Linda

    Great idea, Erin! This is my first year doing challenges and I think the reason I didn’t fail was I opted for ones where I had a high possibility of reading those books anyway. Next year I plan to really challenge myself and choose a challenge outside of comfort level. I think that will be harder.

    • Erin

      I think if I’d chosen challenges the way you did, I’d have been ok. But I tried to stretch, and then I felt like I was being forced to read things! I know that’s crazy, and I think I’m the only person who doesn’t love challenges, but oh well :-)

  • http://agignac2.blogspot.com Amanda

    I don’t mind that you borrowed the idea at all! I love getting to know bloggers, even ones I”ve known for awhile, better! If I’d participated in BBAW I would have done the same thing this year. I’ve “re-introduced” myself for the last few years after BBAW and always found that worked well. :)

    • Erin

      Thanks, Amanda! I remember loving reading your post last year. You wrote about synesthesia and and answered my comment when I asked what color my name was :-)

  • http://myreadingbooks.blogspot.com Kailana

    Hi! I added all the new-to-me blogs that commented on my blog over the last week to my Google reader, so I am new! I applaud people that can knit. I have tried to learn several times and it just never works for me… I read When she Woke last week and really enjoyed it! My review won’t be up until Wednesday, though. My favourite recent reads, though, were The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

    • Erin

      I’m happy you’re here! I learned to knit as a kid, so it wasn’t as hard for me to pick up as an adult. I’m not sure I would have gotten so into it if I’d had to learn when I was older. I love doing it when I’m int he car or watching TV or whatever. I’m happy you liked When She Woke! Jordan is definitely one of my favorite authors. I’ll check back for your review! I have a copy of The Night Circus waiting for me, and I’m really excited to read it. I’m glad you loved it!

  • http://www.reviewsbylola.wordpress.com Stephanie

    I have been following your blog for awhile now but it is nice to learn more about you! I agree about the stress of challenges. I used to do reading challenges all the time but now I stick to just the RIP challenge, although I am also attempting the Europa challenge right now.

    As for something you probably don’t know about me, I am a huge animal lover. My blog is named after my oldest dog, who I got as soon as I graduated high school in ’02, Lola. I also have another dog, Georgia and three cats: Milo, Charlie and Fiona. My animals can do no wrong and are totally spoiled!

    • Erin

      I’m glad I’m not alone in my feelings toward challenges. I could definitely handle a short-term one better than a year-long commitment, I think! You’re right, I didn’t know that about you! I’ve often wondered where “Lola” came from when that doesn’t appear to be your name. I’ve met a few dogs I’ve liked, but I’m a cat lover at heart. My kitty currently lives with my parents, where she moved after I had to move into a complex that didn’t allow cats. I can’t wait to get another (or have her back) one day!

  • Nadine Nys

    It is so nice to get to know you a little better. I am a 40+ woman from Belgium and was a teacher for many years. But in 2001 I stopped working and started studying again at the university here in my hometown (Leuven) and last year I started a PhD in archaeology that will take about 3 years to finish. Very interesting, but it leaves little time for doing a lot of other things (except reading, of course). I do enjoy cooking, though, but I rarely experiment with new recepies, and tend to stick to things I know.

    • Erin

      Nice to meet you! Good for you, undertaking a PhD! I really admire people who have that kind of dedication. I’d imagine you’d be really busy! Is archeology a field you’ve already had some experience with?

      I used to stick to tried and true recipes, but with new dietary restrictions, I’ve had to experiment. It’s fun to try new recipes, but I’m looking forward to building up a little cache I can fall back on so I don’t have to comb the Internet every time I have to cook dinner.

  • http://laurelrainsnowcreations.com/ Laurel-Rain Snow

    Hi, Erin…I found you during BBAW and I’m now subscribed. So I’m looking forward to lots of interaction.

    I am a retired social worker (three decades worth!), now turned to my old dream of writing. I have published five books, available on Amazon and my website (link below).

    I’m currently working on two new ones that are quite different from the first five.

    I’m kind of an obsessive blogger (ten, but previously twenty); love the designing and creating aspect to it.

    I have recently read and loved the two books by Chevy Stevens: Still Missing and Never Knowing.

    Love Tom Perrotta’s books: Little Children, The Abstinence Teacher, and The Leftovers.

    A big fan of Kristin Hannah, Jody Picoult, and many other similar authors (oh, let’s not forget Elizabeth Berg).

    That’s enough for now…

    Here’s MY SUNDAY SALON POST and
    MY WEBSITE

    • Erin

      Hi Laurel! It sounds like you’re keeping busy — ten blogs and a couple of books! Wow. I’m not sure how to keep track of you :-) I totally get the love of creating/designing when it comes to blogs. I sometimes wish I had more time/content ideas/etc. so I could play with setting up more. I’ve never read Chevy Stevens, but I’ve read one of Perrotta’s and can’t wait to read The Leftovers, which sounds like a book I’d love.

  • http://nisefunpages.blogspot.com Nise’

    Hi Erin, BBAW brought me to your blog. I have been blogging for 4 years, started it as a place to keep track of books I’ve read. I have been a life long reader and am a huge fan of audiobooks! I am currently listening to The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin (read by Katherine Kellgren), ShadowFever by Karen Moning (read by Natalie Ross & Phil Gigante) and Devious by Lisa Jackson(read by Joyce Bean). I love to enter reading challenges, and don’t to pressure on myself to complete them.

    • Erin

      I’m glad you’re here! Wow, 4 years…I’m impressed. That’s a long time! I’m happy to find more audiobook fans — I’m always looking for good recommendations. I’m impressed you can keep three going at once! I can read multiple books, but when it comes to audiobooks, I’m best with one at a time.

      With the challenges, I didn’t even think I was pressuring myself, but I guess subconsciously, I was. Oh well…I will live vicariously through those of you who excel at challenges!

  • http://sophisticateddorkiness.com Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    Fun post, good idea! I didn’t realize you started your blog around BBAW last year — it seems like longer than that :) Anyway, glad to have you as part of my book blogging community.

    • Erin

      Thanks! I stole it from Amanda :-) I actually started my blog a while before that, but I posted once every few months until BBAW. I blame BBAW for getting me into this whole crazy business. I’m hoping it’s a good thing it feels longer? :-) I’m happy to have you in my community, too!

  • http://alternatereadality.blogspot.com/ Jenny

    Hey, Erin, I just wanted to come say hi and thanks for commenting on my recent post. I’m always excited to get to know new bloggers.

    • Erin

      My pleasure. I like getting to know others, too!

  • http://www.historyofshe.wordpress.com She

    Yay, getting to know you! BBAW is such a wonderful way to meet new bloggers and refresh with old ones. Glad it’s worked well for you!

    • Erin

      Definitely — I’m quite inspired. Here’s hoping that feeling lasts!

  • http://www.emsalcove.blogspot.com/ Emily

    Thank you for being such a great commenter during BBAW! There was so much going on that week that I’m impressed you found the time to comment on so many blogs so regularly.

    I’m new to your blog so I’m glad you provided a little bio. I’m into my second year of blogging, although it feels like less than that since I was absent from the blogosphere so much this year. You’re the second person whose mentioned Ravelry, (my coworker loves it), so I’ll have to check it out. (I crochet.) It’s too bad you don’t live closer – the library I work at has a “Yack & Yarn” night once a month, where a bunch of knitters, crocheters, and spinners get together for a few hours to work on their yarning and gossip. It’s good fun :)

    • Erin

      My pleasure! I ended up having some free time, and I wanted to make sure I met as many new people as I could while they were all conveniently linked up to the same place :-)

      Congrats on making it to your second year of blogging! I love Ravelry — there are forums, free patterns, ways of organizing projects — it’s amazing. If you join, let me know! I love seeing what other crafters are working on, plus it’s another way to connect. Yack and Yarn sounds so cool! A coworker at my old bookstore job and I got a fiber arts group (mostly knitters and crocheters) going at our store, but then I moved away :-(

  • http://Www.lifewithbooks.com Jenners

    Even though I’ve been reading you for awhile now, I didn’t know some of this stuff so it was fun to get to know you better.

    • Erin

      I figured there was maybe a little in there some of my veteran blog pals wouldn’t know :-)

  • http://jennysbooks.wordpress.com Jenny

    Oh gracious, I didn’t know you were so spoiler-averse! I’m always interested in people who are like this: so when you read spoilers, does it really ruin a book for you? You don’t bother reading it then? Or you just enjoy it much less?

    • Erin

      Really ruins it. If it’s a big thing I find out, I don’t feel like reading the book. I’ll often go back to it later, but I usually wait a while. Once I know about something that’ll happen, I find I read differently. I have this sense of anticipation, like I’m trying to figure out how the book will get to where I know it’s going, and I enjoy reading the book much less because I’m constantly trying to guess how it will go. I love the feeling of not knowing at all where a book is going, just following the thread of the narrative. I have to be careful reading reviews online! I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting spoiler-y paragraphs from their very beginnings and will barely skim until it seems safe to read again.

  • http://bringingtheepic.blogspot.com Lynn Marie

    Hey! New follower! Thanks for stopping by my blog :) I love that you did such a personal post and I can’t wait to see your reviews, it seems like we read the same genres but maybe not the same titles! It’ll be great to broaden my bookish horizons!!

    • Erin

      Thanks for stopping by back :-) I always like hearing about new books I might like, so it sounds like our blogs will complement one another well!

  • http://abookishaffair.blogspot.com/ Meg @ A Bookish Affair

    I would love to get more into knitting. I started a few years ago but never really progressed past being able to knit very, very basic scarves and such. Maybe this winter will be my time progress :)

    • Erin

      Check out Ravelry.com! They have a TON of free patterns, a great search facility to find them, and forums where people are super friendly and will help you out. I love it!

  • http://bookchatter.net Ti

    I think you found me first, but I’m Ti over at Book Chatter. We’ve gotten to know each other a bit, from our comments back and forth. I’m so glad we found each other.

    I am with you on the memes. I don’t do any now except for Sunday Salon, if you can call that a meme. I still do tours once in a while but not too many, and only for books that I really want to read anyway.

    Something about me that you may not know…

    I went to film school and then changed my major. I love film, but I panicked when I thought about paying the bills. So I have a love for films, as well as reading.

    • Erin

      I’m glad too, TI! Thanks for telling me a bit more about yourself. Yeah…I don’t totally consider Sunday Salon a meme in the way other weekly events are memes, but I’m not sure what else to call it! I’m trying to get better with review copies and tours and such, as I overcommitted myself a bit this fall and haven’t had time to read the books I really want to get to. Live and learn :-) I didn’t know you were a film lover! I should have panicked about bills. I majored in American Sign Language (not interpreting or anything useful like that, just the language)!

  • Nadine Nys

    Yes, I am an archaeologist, but also an art historian and philosopher. Result of nine years study.

    • Erin

      Oh, nice! Those are three fields that I find interesting but that I know next to nothing about.

  • http://simplerpastimes.wordpress.com/ amanda

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now (I think I maybe followed you back from comments you left elsewhere, not that I can remember where now), but I’m only so-so at leaving comments on new-to-me blogs. This seemed a good time to leave one on this one! I’m also a knitter (alittlefuzzy on Ravelry) and I love classics. I’m not too good at challenges myself but seem to keep signing up for them anyways! I enjoy group reads, so maybe at some point down the road I’ll manage to join in on one of your buddies reads.

    • Erin

      Thank you for introducing yourself, Amanda! It’s good to “meet” you. I love when new people comment so that I’m aware who’s out there. And since you have a blog, all the better. Now I can follow you! I have a budding love for classics and am looking forward to exploring it more. I’d love to have you along for Reading Buddies sometime! I also do informal reads with a blogger or two at a time, so maybe we can tackle a classic together that way.

  • http://www.iponderthepage.blogspot.com Amy

    Hi Erin! My name is Amy, and I am very new to blogging. I really enjoyed BBAW this past week. I too learned so much and found lots of new blogs. I am new to your blog and really enjoyed this post. I’m in my mid thirties, a stay at home wife, and mom to a lovely little girl (who just so happens to be an extreme bookworm). Yay!

    • Erin

      Hi Amy, thank you for introducing yourself! I’m so happy you enjoyed BBAW. My first was last year, and I was just blown away and delighted. Is it silly that one of my fears of becoming a parent someday is that my kids won’t be bookworms?? :-)

  • http://www.litchick.typepad.com Melanie

    Erin, what a great idea this is! And I hadn’t realized you had only been blogging a year. I have been book blogging a little over 4 years now with a few stops and starts. I have four children and as their activities grow the blog slows down, but I am learning to be okay with the slower pace. Even if I don’t write as often, I will always be a reader!
    My latest passion is making prints using old books (as you already know). And I also love the beach, decorating my house, baking, and baseball. I was a total bookworm as a child and we could walk to the library (hooray). But the book that made me a better reader as an adult was Jane Eyre. Before that I read a lot of fluff. My favorite book is Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. Thanks for asking :)

    • Erin

      Thanks, Melanie! My blog has been around longer than that, but I’ve only considered myself an actual book blogger for about a year. Before that I’d only post every few months, never commented or had commenters, or really had any idea what I was doing :-) Four years is so long — congratulations on keeping it going for so long, especially with so much going on in your life! I really love those prints you’ve done and look forward to seeing one in person. Thank you for telling me a bit about you! I just read Jane Eyre earlier this year and can see how it would make one a “better” reader. I often see Enger’s novel at used book sales but for whatever reason have yet to pick it up. Next time I see it, I shall!

  • http://www.lovelaughterinsanity.com Trish

    I love getting to know my fellow bloggers and am sure that I’ll get to know you even better after the readathon! :) I’m envious of your knitting–I’d really love to learn how but don’t know anyone who does the craft and am afraid of teaching myself. How did you learn?

    Honestly at this point I’m not sure there’s anything you guys don’t know about me. I’ve often wondered if I OVER share… 😉 Wasn’t always that way. I can tell you that my husband is from Western PA. Johnstown area.

    • Erin

      I know, so exciting! The cheerleaders are going to ROCK. I learned to knit as a kid from my grandma, but I only made a couple of things before I stopped. I picked it up again in college, making really basic scarves for friends around the holidays. Now I learn new stitches and techniques from YouTube, if you can believe it! Honestly, the best thing to do is to get a nice big ball of yarn and a pair of needles and just start knitting. If you go into your first project figuring you’re just going to practice and not going to make anything usable, it’s much less stressful. Then, if it works out, you can be pleasantly surprised! If you really want to learn, I’ll find you good videos and walk you through the stuff you’d need to know to buy supplies. I’m always up for spreading the love of knitting :-)

      You definitely don’t over share! I’m sometimes a little envious of how easily you share a more personal side of your life. I struggle to step outside the realm of books, but you make it look so easy. I’m about an hour and a half away from Johnstown. If you ever come back to visit, let me know :-)

  • http://stacybuckeye.wordpress.com/ stacybuckeye

    What a fun post, Erin. I didn’t discover you through BBAW but I am a relaitively new blog reader. I look forward to many bookish pasts in the future.

    • Erin

      That’s ok, it’s always nice to learn a little more about each other! I’m happy you found my blog and look forward to more bookish pasts, too.

  • http://kinnareads.wordpress.com/ Kinna

    Hi Erin:
    We know each other already. I like this post. So I live in Ghana, which is in West Africa. I moved bak home about 8 years ago. Before that I lived in New York where I worked at the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. I attended Smith College for undergrad. I have two sons. The last one is five going on 75 and most days I want to be rescued from him. I’ve been reading to him since he was a baby and now I’ve created a book-loving monster. I work in the field of medical technology and I also consult for an organization that supports women writers in Ghana. I don’t knit. I love the numbers game Sudoku. All the best.

    • Erin

      Kinna, it’s great to learn a little more about you! Wow, you’ve lived in some interesting places. Did you come to the US for college, or before that? What made you decide to move home? I love how you describe your son. He sounds like a handful, but I bet he’ll turn out ok. I envy your love of sudoku — it drives me a little crazy! My aunt is really good at it, but I just get confused. To each her own :-)

  • http://booklineandsinker.com natalie @ book, line, and sinker

    such a nice introduction! i’m natalie from book, line, and sinker and live at the beach in nj. i’ve been blogging since 2007 and work in a private high school. i love reading, traveling, going to auctions, flea markets, and selling vintage treasures on etsy. my husband and i have been together since 1992–we met in college–and it’s been nothing but fun and hi-jinx ever since. i’m an AWFUL knitter and have started about 10 scarves but none is longer than a few inches. i’m thinking of sewing them all together and calling it a patchwork scarf. :) thanks for all your kind comments over on my blog. i’ve been a bit lax with responses lately, but school is killing me this fall. i need a vacation. lol.

    • Erin

      Ooh, flea markets! I always think I’d like to like hunting down old treasures, but really I don’t have the patience. I’m much better at used book sales 😉 How cool that you met your husband in college and have had such a great life together since! As for knitting…I went through that phase too. I still have one of my early attempts at a scarf. It’s made of every piece of scrap yarn my mom had at the time and is HIDEOUS! Maybe you could make your patchwork scarf and start a new branch of your Etsy store? I definitely know what it’s like to have more pressing concerns than a blog! I hope school calms down for you soon. Thanks for taking the time to share a bit about you!

  • http://yourmovedickens.blogspot.com/ Darlyn

    I’ve been reading the past comments, and, cheesy as it may sound, it warms my heart that people from all over the world are being united by their love for reading.

    So, hi, Erin! I’m very envious of your knitting, by the way. :) I’m 20 and I’m from the Philippines.

    • Erin

      I know, me too!! That’s part of why I love it when people comment. I get so excited when someone who’s never spoken up finally says, “Hi, I’m so-and-so and I live in this place. I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and…” So exciting!! I know you’ve commented before, but I love getting to know my fellow bloggers a bit better, too. Thank you for saying hello :-)

  • http://www.tiftalksbooks.com Tif

    I am super late in posting a response here, but just had to say hello! I have not yet heard about your Reading Buddies, but I love the idea! If I was more on the ball, I would have loved to join you for Middlesex, but my reading agenda is already booked this month. Maybe a future read?!?

    Excited to be following you and reading more of your posts!

    • Erin

      Hello! Hey, better late than never :-) I’d love to have you join in for a future Reading Buddies read! That would be fun!